Hours before becoming the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump delivered remarks on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Thursday evening.
Trump took the stage at the conclusion of the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” concert, the beginning of three days of inauguration festivities. Trump made his way to the concert about an hour in, sitting and watching the last with his wife, Melania Trump.
After a performance from Toby Keith, Trump then took the stage and spoke for about six minutes. As he did during his campaign rallies, Trump gave his speech without the use of a teleprompter, speaking completely extemporaneously.
President-elect Trump spent much of his speech reflecting back on his campaign, and he used many of the same turns of phrase that made up his stump speech. He first said that he began his campaign 18 months ago because he and his supporters wanted to see real change.
“It’s a movement like we’ve never seen anywhere in the world, they say,” Trump said. “There’s never been a movement like this. And it’s something very, very special.”
Trump then spent several minutes talking about the last month of his presidential campaign and taking pleasure in the fact that he won the election and that the pundits and polls were wrong about him.
“What we’ve done is so special,” Trump said. “All over the world they’re talking about it.”
The president-elect went on to say that he will build up the military, strengthen the borders, and not “let other countries take our jobs any longer.”
“I promise you, it’s going to change,” he said.
Trump concluded by telling those in the audience that he’d see them tomorrow and that he doesn’t care what the weather will be like (it is currently expected to rain in Washington, D.C. on Friday).